Phonemic mergers in the Semitic languages

These tables represent, through their respective scripts, the phonemic mergers that have taken place in the various Semitic languages. The Musnad (ancient south Arabian script) is used to represent the proto-Semitic values as it is the only Semitic script capable of representing all 29 original phonemes. The number in brackets after the language name indicates how many phonemes of the original 29 were retained distinctly in the language.




Arabic (28)




Ugaritic (27)




Ge'ez (24)


*Note: Ge'ez has two extra letters (not displayed here) that do not match up with the Semitic languages, and are thought to come from Cushitic influence.


Hebrew (23)




Aramaic (22)




Phoenician (22)